Autumn at the Center for the Arts highlights Africa, culinary arts |

Autumn at the Center for the Arts highlights Africa, culinary arts

“Great art can communicate before it is understood.” – T.S. EliotAfrica brings its colorful culture to Glenwood Springs in September.The exhibit “Africa! Africa!” will delight anyone who ever has gazed upon the majesty of lions or counted the spots of a cheetah. There will be tidbits from all walks of life in our gift bazaar. The exhibit runs Sept. 2 through Oct. 30.We are thrilled to share the exquisite work of Eli Weiss, gifted wildlife photographer and founder of WildiZe Foundation. Her photos will rock your soul with their stunning sensitivity of the people, animals and landscapes of Kenya, Namibia and points beyond.Sally Smith, of Media for Development International – another African foundation – will share her traditional Maasai jewelry and music from Zimbabwe. We also have pottery, artwork, gourds, baskets and textiles from other valley artisans who have traveled to Africa, an artful country with color, design, and traditional art and music at every turn.For a mildly wild evening with esteemed guests and artists, African dancers, food, refreshments and authentic music, attend the artist reception at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.Many of Africa’s inhabitants remain indigenous and their education has nonwestern aspects that strengthen the threads of their ancient culture. In Tanzania, for example, this alternative education features the art development of the children as a way of strengthening foundations while furthering traditional education. The children of this special Tanzanian art project develop their historical artistic skills to maintain a vibrant culture.It’s widely known that children learn in different ways no matter what their cultural background. Kids in the west tend to learn the traditional subjects first and then add on arts and music. The arts and sciences are interconnected and can compliment each other to enhance learning on all levels. While art and physics are solely human expressions, music is a common medium for many living forms. Song is the language of birds and whales. Lions, tigers and other animals are soothed by tranquil melodies. It has even been proposed that plants respond to music.The ability of species to generate and respond to music is one of the great unexplained mysteries of nature. Perhaps, as the essayist Lewis Thomas has suggested, we are part of a grand symphony that includes the “rhythm of insects, the long pulsing runs of birdsong, the descants of whales, and the modulated vibration of a million locusts in migration …”The camera is a scientific instrument that measures space and time. The crucial element necessary to conduct these measurements is light. Photography literally means “writing with light.” Figure out a few F-stops and you are doing math. When color theory is learned, it translates to science as wavelength and vibration.Drawing and painting stimulate parts of the brain that allow you to write eloquently. Reading is great fun when you can look at the pictures. Dance improves coordination for kids in sports such as soccer or football by fine tuning their motor skills, giving them strength and balance and making them light on their feet.After-school art classes are a great way to end a rigorous day learning the three ‘Rs. Kids need to relax into the imagination. Science has proven that spending an hour in full imagination is a counter measure for stress. When we are not stressed, our brains can work better.Imaginary play is something adults rarely take the time to do in our hectic schedules. Art as therapy in the classroom is often reserved for special circumstances. Art heals, soothes our spirit and opens us to grander concepts. With schools losing funding for after-school enhancement classes and musical programs dwindling, the arts are more necessary than ever.So join a dance class after soccer ends this year. It’s never too late to register with pro-rated class tuition. We specialize in home-school classes in the arts. And don’t forget to attend the dance company auditions at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, for junior division and 6:15 p.m. for senior division. Or how about dressing up for the Fairy Festival from 4-5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7? Pre-register for a class before Sept. 8 and receive $20 off tuition.

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